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Saturday, 10/14/2017 4:12:14 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2017 4:12:14 PM

Post# of 85
Hershberger stepping down as CEO of PGT

By John Hielscher
Staff Writer

Posted Oct 13, 2017 at 1:25 PM
Updated Oct 13, 2017 at 2:01 PM

Longtime colleague and current president Jeff Jackson will be new CEO

VENICE — Rod Hershberger, one of the founders of PGT Innovations Inc. nearly 40 years ago, will retire as chief executive officer Jan. 1 but remain chairman of the board.

Jeff Jackson, the current president who has been with PGT for a dozen years, has been appointed CEO.

PGT, a manufacturer of impact-resistant doors and windows, is one of the region’s largest publicly traded companies, posting $458 million in sales last year. It employs 2,800 in Florida, with nearly 2,100 of the employees working at the North Venice operation.

Hershberger, 61, said it has been an “honor” to lead the company, and he thanked employees and customers for their support.

“Consistent with our succession planning, we’ve promoted from within a demonstrated leader at a time when PGT Innovations is in a strong position,” Hershberger said. “Jeff has the ability to translate vision and strategy into industry-leading execution, bringing together brands, products and teams to drive results.

“As a 12-year veteran with the company, Jeff already understands all aspects of our business and will move the company forward to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.”

Hershberger and two partners founded was was then called Vinyl Tech in 1980. After several expansions, the company was renamed PGT Industries — for Progressive Glass Technology — and in 2001 an Ohio investment fund bought out the owners. Three years later, the company was sold to JLL Partners, a New York leveraged buy-out fund that became the controlling shareholder. It took PGT public in 2006, with shares trading on the Nasdaq before moving to the New York Stock Exchange late last year.

While PGT struggled during the real estate downturn, laying off close to half its employees by 2008, the economic recovery and a rebounding housing market has pushed the company’s sales to new highs.

The company, rebranded last year as PGT Innovations, has made several key acquisitions. It paid $111 million in 2015 for CGI Windows & Doors, a Miami company that also makes storm-resistant products, and last year closed a $102 million purchase of WinDoor Inc., an Orlando company that also makes impact-resistant windows and doors.

Jackson, 51, joined PGT as vice president and chief financial officer, helping to lead its IPO. He was later named executive vice president and in 2014 was promoted to president and chief operating officer, a role that included overseeing all aspects of company operations and strategy. He was appointed to the board last year. His new title will be president/CEO.

“I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead PGT Innovations,” he said in a news release. “I look forward to continuing to work with our team and valued customers to build upon the solid foundation that Rod created and to realize the opportunities we have going forward. I am focused on continuing our legacy of deep customer relationships and accelerating the innovation and execution that our customers need and expect from us.”

The company reported that its second-quarter net sales hit a record $137.38 million, up 15 percent over the year. Net income climbed to $10.25 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with $7.35 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier. Those results topped Wall Street expectations. Third-quarter results will be released Nov. 2.

The company’s shares were trading this afternoon for $14.43, down 7 cents.
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